OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – Staffing levels at the Oklahoma County Jail are not ideal as of Thursday, according to jail officials. The new interim CEO said they’re trying to get back to normal numbers but claims staffing issues are the main source for most incidents that have happened there.

“We have about 292 current employees,” said interim jail CEO Brandi Garner. “That’s lower than it has been in a while.”

Garner wouldn’t go as far as to say the staffing levels are critical. However, she said the staffing levels have been like this for the past few weeks and they’re trying to build it back up.

“320 seems to be a pretty good number,” Garner said. “Ideally, I think it would be up to 360.”

The search for employees comes amid an administration change. Previous jail CEO Greg Williams resigned along with the CFO, COO and lead recruiter. Just last month, 5 employees were fired, 15 resigned and another two retired. The low staffing levels also come amid mass criticism of the facility dating back years. Multiple inmate deaths, including one in January, and deplorable living conditions like bed bugs, lack of food and medical care have been the main talking points.

The following comments have been made in the past regarding the jail:

“What can only be described as medieval torture.”

“It’s rare that I see given out hot, warm, or on time.”

“That’s 19th century pre-reform jail.”

Garner said she sources most of the problems back to staffing.

“Our ability to recruit is inherent to this facility. I think that it hinders it a lot,” she said. “I would love to have more staff to be able to take care of all of the things that we need to be taking care of.”

Now, Garner is calling it a rebuild as they search for prospective employees.

“We’re raising our standards,” Garner said. “I’m looking for people that are here for the right reasons. They will go through a comprehensive background check, and I want to make sure that we get the right people on the right seats on the bus.”

She told KFOR about 45 employees are in the jail’s next academy. The jail is also hosting an onsite job fair Wednesday, February 15th from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. A picture can be seen below for more information.

Oklahoma County Jail searching for employees. Image KFOR.
More information regarding employment at the Oklahoma County Jail. Image KFOR.

For more information or to apply, visit okcountydc.net.